FTLComm - Prince Albert - February 21, 1999
Canadians love to revel in their ability to deal with winter and all that it brings. This spirit comes to life at the Prince Albert Winter Festival as Saturday afternoon work was proceeding on the snow sculptures right on the Saskatchewan river in Prince Albert's waterfront. The snow has been cleared from the ice surface in preparation for the dog team and skidoo racing later in the week but there were lots of people on hand Saturday afternoon to watch the artists work their magic on big blocks of snow. The participants, each with their sponsors are both young and old, individuals and large organisations but the images themselves almost all evoke a whimsical and evocative response from the viewer.

Even the most representational work, the children's blocks at right have a surreal nature to them and because of the size seem to poke the viewer toward expanding the imagination just a bit.

The snow in all of these pictures is actually gleaming white but to get the impressions and features to show up with the overcast sky in Prince Albert Saturday afternoon we have

enhanced the images altering the contrast and tones to bring out the features so that you can see the subtitles

The image on the left actually has a face on each corner with its own character and features, this corner the Indian chief with headdress while another has a trapper with a full beard and fur hat.

This clever work has a dinosaur emerging from an egg with the artist on the right fixing the tale that come out of the back of the cracked shell.

This project has four symbolic figures linking arms and pawns together to form a harmonious bond. I felt that the
sculpture was a reflection of the view and feelings of the artists as I watched them work together on the project.

This novel house with interior and the Northern Thinker have humour and good design working together.

This one is one of those complex and loaded works with images that blend into each other evoking a reaction from the view as well as posing some interesting questions. Remember that these are all works in progress and we were photographing them as they were being created so the finishing subtle touches in many cases had not been made. A few project had only just begun.

Working with snow can produce phenomenally fast carvings that almost have a life while they are being made. This woman and the man at right are putting this one together right before our eyes at an astonishing speed. As the face appeared on the right he said that he had him turned the wrong way into the wind and would have to change the design to handle the way it was turning out. It was remarkable to see the process and realise that what was illusory and real was both.

Congratulations to all the people involved with this project we felt privileged to walk around while the work was going on as we felt as though were sharing in the creative moment.